The winners of the advance reader copies of THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS for Weds., Thurs. and Fri. are Deb Romano, ceblain and Reine! Please contact julia at julia spencer fleming dot com with your address.
LUCY BURDETTE: We always plant more cucumbers than we can eat but we never regret it. Why? Bread and butter pickles!
Homemade pickles are head and
shoulders better than store bought. And I have a great recipe for you that I've been using for thirty years.
But before deciding to embark on this project, please promise that
you’ll study the section in a pickle-making book about sterilizing jars
and lids, and proper use of the boiling water bath. I may be a murder
mystery writer, but I don’t want to kill anyone off in real life!
The recipe I use is from an old cookbook called PUTTING FOOD BY by
Hertzberg, Vaughn, and Greene. You’ll need to plan ahead for this–it’s
not a last-minute kind of project. But I’ve been making these for years
and never had a bad pickle.
8-10 medium cukes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 large onions, sliced
peppers, if desired seeded and sliced (we had 3 banana peppers on our bushes so that’s what I used)
1/3 cup salt--Kosher is best
2 large garlic cloves, whole
ice cubes or crushed ice
4.5 cups sugar
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp celery seed
2 TBSP mustard seed
3 cups of white vinegar
the vegetables well, slice and add them to a large bowl with garlic.
Sprinkle the salt over and mix thoroughly. add ice to cover and mix that
in too. Then leave the bowl for 3 hours. (The salt takes the liquid from the cukes.) Drain off the liquid and
remove the garlic.
Meanwhile, in a large stainless pot, combine sugar,
vinegar and spices and heat to a simmer. Stir in the veggies and simmer
for ten minutes.
Pack into hot, sterile jars, remove air bubbles, add
lids and place in the boiling water bath. Process ten minutes.
More tips on processing: Boil the jars for ten minutes before filling. Place the lids in a small pan of water and bring this to almost a boil and let sit while you prepare the brine. Sterilize the funnel and whatever you're using to poke air bubbles out of the filled jars. Throw away any jar that doesn't seal, or refrigerate to eat this week.
Tell us about your favorite pickles and you'll be entered into a drawing for Julia's November release, THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS! I know that's a silly question, but you want that ARC. Your hands are a little sweaty, your lips twitch...
So, half sours? Kimchi? Gerkins? You get the picture...